The year is 2120 in Neo San Jose…
Neo San Jose rose like a phoenix from the ashes of the Kessler Crash. The falling remains of commercialized space travel had devastated most of the West Coast, yet San Jose endured. Driven forward by the same spirit of ingenuity that solved the climate crisis of the 21st century, the rubble and ruin of San Jose transformed into great pillars of prosperity within a single generation. Technology was adapted to humanity’s changing needs as our new society gave us complete freedom of personhood. Old hatreds vanished as concepts like race, gender, sexuality, and even species were no longer called into question. It wouldn’t be long before new divisions rose to take their place.
The open internet of the pre-crash years was no more, replaced by vast networks built on closed infrastructure. Though basic stripped-down content packages were provided to everyone, the elegant sense of form, function and fashion of The Shakers defined the trends of the age. To be part of The Shakers meant to commit wholly to their ideals and aesthetics. In exchange, you’d be granted the keys to an exclusive club. Extravagant body modifications, exclusive avatars, comprehensive wardrobe updates and instant club access. Being one of The Shakers meant being part of a brand – for life.
For the rest of us, living within the system would mean being part of The Pack, whose members ranged from data couriers to software engineers, artists, athletes, and e-game celebrities. Anyone could be a member of The Pack. Though free time was a luxury in Neo San Jose, most would be willing to spend it watching their favourite streamers do everything from dominating game tournaments to folding laundry. Being a member of the Pack meant that you’d always have a friend nearby, wherever you happened to be in the world.
Others rebelled against the status-quo and embraced freedom as a lifestyle. The Underground coalesced around a rejection of both major networks. They yearned for the internet of old, seeing themselves as real 21st century style hackers, artists, pranksters and punks. Using custom-built and often untested body modifications stripped of trackers, Underground members could rule the roads without sacrificing their freedom or privacy. Creativity was power to The Underground, whose appearances were as diverse as their skillsets. Being on the outside meant making mischief, bending rules and working together to push the world to be a free and open place.